USLawEssentials Introduction to US Contract Law

Understanding Fundamental Concepts, Sources of Contract Law in the United States, and the Offer.
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  • Lectures 17
  • Contents Video: 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

  • Study US Contract law with concise, accessible, animated videos. You'll learn the fundamentals of contract law, the sources of contract law in the United States, and the very first element of the contract, the offer.
  • Educators in the United States and other countries have relied on USLawEssentials to teach US law to their students because the animations, illustrations, and examples make abstract concepts easily understandable.
  • This course is ideal for students who want a concise and clear presentation with visual aids. Take a break from dry lectures.
  • The course is especially suitable for students whose first language is not English.

You will understand:

  • Fundamental definitions and concepts.
  • Different types of contracts including bilateral contracts, unilateral contracts, express contracts, and implied contracts.
  • Sources of contract law, including the Uniform Commercial Code, the common law, and the Restatement of Contracts.
  • Application of the UCC and common law to hybrid or mixed transactions.
  • How offers are formed and how they can be terminated.
  • Irrevocable offers.

What you get:

  • 15 video lectures with pictures, animation, slides, bullet points, examples, summaries, and exam tips.
  • Video quiz
  • Ten-page comprehensive outline and summary of the course.

This is not a general overview of all US contract law. The course presents a brief but detailed look at some of the introductory topics that students studying contracts in the United States must understand in the first year of law school and for the bar examination.

Ourr next course will take us to the acceptance and consideration with an emphasis on the UCC battle of the forms. Stand by for courses on other US law topics, too.

What are the requirements?

  • No requirements

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand what a contract is and some of the fundamental concepts of contract law.
  • Distinguish between different types of contracts including bilateral, unilateral, express, and implied contracts.
  • Distinguish between the Uniform Commercial Code and the common law and understand the role of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts.
  • Identify transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, specifically transactions for the sale of goods.
  • Understand how courts treat transactions involving both goods and services.
  • Understand what is required to form a legally binding offer.
  • Recognize missing or ambiguous terms in an offer or contract and understand how courts treat missing or ambiguous terms.
  • Understand requirements and output contracts.
  • Understand how offers are terminated and the requirements to form an irrevocable offer under the UCC and common law.

What is the target audience?

  • Students who want a concise summary of important topics introduced in a first year contracts course.
  • Students interested in lessons with visual aids and examples.
  • Students whose first language is not English.
  • Students interested in improving their international legal English.
  • The course is not a general survey, Other contract law topics will be addressed in later courses.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction and Course Outline

Receive an overview of the lectures and download a comprehensive outline of the topics in this course.

Section 2: Fundamental Concepts and Terms

Learn the basic principles of contract law and the legal definition of a contract.

  • Contracts are enforceable agreements
  • A court may impose liability if a person breaks a promise in a contract.
  • Contracts typically require the elements of offer, acceptance, and consideration.


Learn to distinguish between bilateral and unilateral contracts.

  • In a bilateral contract the parties exchange promises.
  • In a unilateral contract one party makes an offer and the other party accepts the offer by performing.


Learn to distinguish between express contracts and implied contracts.

  • The parties explicitly state the terms of their agreement in express contractual terms.
  • We can understand implied in fact contractual terms based on the parties' conduct.
  • Implied in law contracts, or quasi-contracts, are not actually contracts but arise where one party confers a benefit on another party and it would be unfair if the party conferring the benefit did not receive fair compensation.

Section 3: Sources of Contract Law

Understand the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and learn to identify those transactions governed by the UCC.

  • The UCC is a model law.
  • UCC Article 2 applies to transactions for the sale of goods.


Understand the definition of transactions for the sale of goods and their relationship to the UCC.

  • Sales involve transfers of title for a price.
  • Goods are tangible, movable items.


Understand the common law as a source of contract law and the role of the Restatement of Contracts, a treatise distilling the essential concepts of contract law.

  • The common law is judge made law.
  • Today there is significant statutory influence on contract law, including, among other things, the UCC.


Understand two major approaches by courts to determine whether the UCC applies to transactions that involve both goods and services.

  • The predominance test asks what was the major purpose of the transaction? If the primary purpose was the sale of goods then the UCC should apply to the entire transaction.
  • The component approach requires the court to apply the UCC only to that portion of the transaction that involved the sale of goods.


Learn a third approach to mixed transactions, applied in some jurisdictions, called the gravamen of the action test. In this test the court will ask whether the plaintiff is suing the defendant because of defective goods or defective services.

Section 4: The Offer

Understand the legal definition of an offer, the first element of a contract. In an offer the offeror should:

  • Unambiguously show an intention to enter into an agreement.
  • Communicate the offer to the offeree.
  • Let the offeree know that she has the power to enter into an agreement by accepting the offer.


Learn how courts treat offers and contracts that are missing terms and conditions.

  • As a general rule, courts may be able to fill in missing terms.
  • The UCC has a number of gap filling provisions where the parties do not include certain terms.
  • However, the UCC does not have gap filling provisions for quantity.


Learn how courts treat offers from buyers to purchase all of their required goods from a seller and similar offers from a seller to sell all production to a buyer. The UCC provides that even though these types of agreements do not have a numerical quantity, they may still form the basis of an enforceable agreement.


Learn how courts treat situations where more than one person learns about an offer, and how contract law may be applied to rewards and advertisements.

  • As a general rule, only the offeree may accept the offer.
  • In a reward or contest, anyone who becomes aware of the offer may be eligible to accept the offer.
  • Advertisements are generally not considered offers unless a price and quantity are included.


Learn how offers expire and when offerees will lose their power of acceptance.

  • Offerors can specify when their offers will expire.
  • Offerors are usually free to revoke their offers.
  • If not specified, offers expire after a reasonable amount of time.
  • A rejection or counteroffer by the offeree will also cause an offer to expire.


Understand the common law and UCC rules for creating binding promises to keep an offer open for a certain period of time.

  • The common law typically requires consideration to keep an offer open.
  • Under the UCC, a merchant can make a firm offer without consideration if he makes the promise in writing and it is signed by the merchant. The firm offer without consideration is irrevocable for a maximum of three months.


Check your knowledge with a short fun quiz.

Review some of our topics and get ready for our next course.

Section 5: BONUS!

Many students who enrolled in my contracts class were also learning English as a Second Language. In response, I created a fun course with animated videos just to help people understand English idioms and expressions.

Each video has stories and examples. You can follow the link in the attached PDF.

The videos are fun to watch and I enjoyed making the course. I hope you like the lectures, too. We can use the Udemy discussion boards for questions and answers - - now we can chat about general English topics, too, not just legal topics!

Thanks and please enjoy.

As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Daniel Edelson

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Instructor Biography

Daniel Edelson, Professor/Attorney

Daniel is a professor who is passionate about explaining ideas visually.

An experienced educator and public speaker, Daniel has taught students from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. His videos explain concepts and vocabulary in a clear and accessible manner, especially suitable for students whose first language is not English. LLM courses, international legal english classes, and undergraduate college courses include his videos.

In addition to teaching law, Daniel is the founder of USLawEssentials, which explains legal concepts for students whose first language is not English. He is also the founder of VisionESL which explains English vocabulary and grammar with videos.

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